Just as utilities like to have multiple suppliers for critical equipment to ensure backup suppliers are available on a contingency basis, any respectable discussion of advancements in equipment and software solution providers to our industry should highlight the fact that competition among suppliers is a good thing. So before highlighting recent developments at ABB, it is worth pointing out that real-time capabilities for optimizing asset health are evolving favorably due to the work of a host of competing companies, including IBM, GE, Schneider, Oracle, and SAP, among others.
Four decades ago, equipment up-time requirements for the mining industry drove early innovations associated with asset health software solutions. The solution, known as MIMS, included satellite up-links which transmitted real-time sensor data for mission-critical mining equipment operating in remote regions. The data provided the MIMS predictive Computerized Maintenance Management Solution (CMMS) and related supply chain software with key information to help it ensure delivery of critical spare parts of the equipment stayed up and running 24/7.
Mincom, Ltd. was founded in the 1980s, and was the creator of that mining-related solution, which also enjoyed significant successes in the U.S utility industry, and in other asset-intensive industries. Mincom became the largest software company in Australia and years later was acquired by Atlanta-based Ventyx (previously Indus International), which then became part of ABB.
Along the way, there was tremendous growth in the market for CMMS solutions. In addition, CMMS solutions became more integrated with other enterprise software solutions including GIS, OMS, mobile data or Field Service Management solutions, as well as including or integrating to ERP solution’s HR, Finance, and Supply Chain Management solutions.
In the late 1990’s, to distinguish these solutions from ERP and from the prior stand-alone CMMS solutions, the term Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) was coined by Dan Miklovic (then with Gartner Group) and Don McDonnell (then with Indus International, now CEO of McDonnell Group).